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E-M:/ Media Release: Incoming State Reps Commit to Getting Toxics Out of Toys



For Immediate Release: November 11, 2008              

Contacts: Mike Shriberg, Policy Director, Ecology Center, 734-761-3186 ext. 108   
Katie Kelly, Environmental Health Organizer, Clean Water Fund, 734-222-6347
Sara Talpos, 734-913-1040
Representative Mark Meadows, 517-373-1786
Representative-Elect Bill Rogers, 810-227-8180

54 Incoming State Representatives Commit to Getting Toxics Out of Toys

 
Ann Arbor, MI: Last Tuesday Michigan voters elected at least 54 State Representatives committed to protecting kids from toxic chemicals in toys.  In a strong response to the Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids (HMHK) coalition and voters across the state, nearly 50% of all 2009/10 Michigan House of Representatives members officially signed the HMHK platform, a comprehensive approach to addressing toxics in children’s products.
 
“Lead, mercury, arsenic and other toxic chemicals simply do not belong in toys and children’s products, and ultimately, in our children,” said state Representative-Elect Bill Rogers.  “I’m proud that so many of my colleagues have pledged to protect children’s health and I look forward to working with them to implement the Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids agenda.”
 
“Part of my responsibility as a State Representative is to protect my youngest constituents,” said State Representative Mark Meadows (East Lansing).  “I will work diligently to see that legislation based on the Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids platform is introduced quickly.” 

Even though the media paid more attention to toy recalls last year, over 6 million children’s products have already been recalled in 2008 because of lead and parents are increasingly concerned about safety during the upcoming holiday season. The federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, enacted in August, will eventually alleviate some of the most obvious problems with toxic toys but does not go nearly far enough to protect Michigan’s children.

“I worry about what chemicals are in my children’s toys,” said Sara Talpos, mother of 2 young children and author of a recent article about her experiences exploring the toxic hazards of children’s products.  “Parents have a right to know what chemicals are in children’s products so we can make informed decisions when shopping for our kids.”
 
The HMHK coalition calls for Michigan to follow the lead of other states and countries by taking initial, commonsense steps to protect Michigan's children from toxic chemicals by eliminating added lead, mercury, and arsenic in kid’s products; identifying other chemicals of concern; ensuring consumer “right-to-know” about chemicals of highest concern; and jumpstarting Michigan’s economy with green chemistry and safer alternatives.  
 
Voters across Michigan asked their candidates to sign the HMHK platform.
 
“We’ve been overwhelmed and encouraged by the commitment of incoming State Representatives to protect kids from needless exposures to toxic chemicals,” said Mike Shriberg, Ph.D., Policy Director for the Ecology Center.  “Not only did we receive 54 official signatures, but many more incoming Representatives expressed their strong support for addressing this issue comprehensively and responsibly.”
 
The Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids coalition is working with State Representatives to draft the Safe Children’s Product bill package, which would implement the goals outlined in the HMHK platform.
 
“We look forward to moving ahead with strong bipartisan support in the Michigan Legislature,” said Katie Kelly, Environmental Health Organizer for Clean Water Action.  “We need to protect our kids and bolster our state’s economy now.”
 
The following 2009/10 Representatives signed the Healthy Michigan, Healthy Kids platform.  More information about the initiative can be found at HealthyMichigan.net.
 

HD 1 - Mr. Timothy Bledsoe
HD 4 - Coleman A. Young
HD 5 - Bert Johnson
HD 8 - George Cushingberry
HD 10 - Gabe Leland
HD 12 - Rashida Tlaib
HD 15- Gino H. Polidori
HD 16 - Bob Constan
HD 20 - Marc R. Corriveau
HD 21 - Dian Slavens
HD 23 - Deb Kennedy
HD 24 - Sarah Roberts
HD 26 - Marie Donigan
HD 27 - Ellen Cogen Lipton
HD 29 - Tim Melton
HD 31 - Fred Miller
HD 32 - Jennifer Haase
HD 34 - Woodrow Stanley 
HD 37 - Vicki Barnett
HD 39 - Lisa Brown
HD 49 - Lee Gonzales
HD 52 - Pam Byrnes
HD 53 - Rebekah Warren
HD 54 - Alma Wheeler Smith
HD 55 - Kathy Angerer
HD 59 - Matt Lori
HD 60 - Robert B. Jones
HD 62 - Kate Segal
HD 65 - Mike Simpson
HD 66 - Bill Rogers
HD 67 - Barb Byrum
HD 68 - Joan Bauer
HD 69 - Mark S. Meadows
HD 70 - Mike Huckleberry
HD 71 - Rick Jones
HD 74 - Dave Agema
HD 75 - Robert Dean
HD 76 - Roy Schmidt
HD 79 - John Proos
HD 84 - Terry L. Brown
HD 85 - Richard J. Ball
HD 87 - Brian N. Calley
HD 88 - Bob Genetski
HD 90 - Joseph Haveman
HD 91 - Mary Valentine
HD 93 - Paul E. Opsommer
HD 95 - Andy Coulouris
HD 96 - Jeff Mayes
HD 99 - Bill Caul
HD 101 - Dan Scripps
HD 103 - Joel A. Sheltrown
HD 107 - Gary McDowell
HD 109 - Steven W. Lindberg
HD 110 - Michael A. Lahti
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Supporting organizations: Ecology Center • Clean Water Fund • Michigan Nurses Association • Michigan Environmental Council • Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund • Environment Michigan Resource & Policy Center • Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan Healthy Children Project • Association for Children’s Mental Health • Voices for Earth Justice • East Michigan Environmental Action Council